Maine is a good place to live because of its beautiful scenery, quiet lifestyle, low crime rates, and generally friendly people. People of all ages, from families to retirees, immigrate to Maine each year for its safe towns and cities, good schools, and welcoming communities.

What’s it Like Living in Maine?

Living in Maine means a slower pace of life than in other states. That’s one of the first things you’ll notice when you get here, and that’s also what makes it so special. Here are some of the things you’ll experience if you’re moving to Maine.

Maine Has Beautiful Scenery

Maine is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in America. The mountains and lakes are breathtakingly beautiful. It has about 17 million acres of forestland and 3,500 miles of gorgeous coastline with bays and coves.

Maine Enjoys Each of the Four Seasons

You can enjoy all four seasons in Maine that provide endless opportunities for in-state adventures. There’s also always something to do every season.

maine coast

During winter, you can enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing. In the spring, there are beautiful trees and many lighthouses to visit. In the summer, you can enjoy stunning beaches like the famous Old Orchard Beach and pier. In autumn, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do such as hiking Mt. Katahdin or even just driving through Maine to see the changing leaves.

Maine Is Known For Being Very Safe

Maine is also a safe state to live in. In a list released by ConsumerAffairs, Maine ranks as the fourth safest state in the US. It also got the best score of all 50 states for violent crime per capita. Maine only had 1,466 violent crimes in 2020, amounting to 108.6 for every 100,000 people.

Maine Is a Great Place to Raise a Family

Maine is a great place to live, especially if you’re looking to build a family here. Maine is ranked the 8th best state to have a baby in the US, based on a survey from WalletHub. The rankings were based on different factors such as related costs, healthcare, baby-friendliness, and family-friendliness.

Maine Has a Strong Sense of Community

Maine boasts a strong sense of community in which people are willing to help one another. Maine is also home to many immigrants, some of whom come here as refugees or asylum seekers, which are all made possible by the support of many Maine communities.

Maine Is a Healthy State

Maine is one of the healthiest states in America and its hospitals are recognized for both general and specialized care, and older people choose to spend their retirement years in Maine because of its quality of life and vibrant communities.

What Should I Know Before Moving to Maine?

Before moving to Maine, you should know that this state offers great work-life balance, access to many outdoor recreations and activities, safe communities, and great seafood, which are all huge benefits of being a Maine resident.

Old Population

Maine has an old population. The median age is 44.9 years, which is older than the median age of 40.2 years for the United States as a whole. According to the Census Bureau, just 13% of Maine’s population was under 18 years old in 2010.

One major factor in Maine’s population is the out-migration of young people who move to other states for higher education and jobs. The state has a net population loss in the age range of 18-34, but it gains more people than it loses among people 35 and older.

Salary Trends

According to Mainebiz, Maine saw significant positive changes in salary trends within the last year. In the first quarter of the year, Maine’s income soared—making it the 9th state with the largest increase in earnings.

Maine’s economy finished the year 2021 with strong economic growth. Maine’s GDP grew at a 6.8% annual rate in the 4th quarter of 2021, and Maine’s economy grew 5.2% for all of 2021. The three sectors that contributed the most to this growth were accommodation and food service, agriculture, and real estate.

Work-Life Balance

Most Mainers work a 40-hour week and are dedicated to having a healthy work-life balance. They offer their employees extensive and competitive compensation and benefits packages that include childcare reimbursement, vacation leave, sick leave, and retirement planning.

Best Seafood

When you think of Maine, you probably think of lobster—and with good reason. Maine produces more than 40 million pounds of lobster each year, representing nearly 90% of the country’s supply. 

The state is known for having some of the best lobster in the world and this is one thing that you will enjoy when you move here.

Vehicle Registration

To register your vehicle in Maine, take the following documents to your local government office: your title if your car is 1995 or newer (you don’t need to bring it if its model year is older than 1995), your out-of-state registration certificate, and your dated insurance card. After that, you will be asked to fill out a title application and pay all applicable fees.

Are There any Bad Things About Maine?

Maine is a great place to live, but it’s not perfect. The state also has its share of problems as do all other places. The bad things about Maine are its lack of diversity, nightlife, and sports teams, as well as its cold winters. Here are some of the problems encountered by Maine residents:

Less Diversity

If you like to live in a state with a mix of ethnicities and cultures, Maine might not be the best choice. The 2020 census shows that Maine remains the “whitest state in the US“, with 94.4% of its population being white. It can also be a little bit disheartening that Maine is lacking in world cuisine.

Lackluster Nightlife

Maine attracts a lot of retirees, but there isn’t much to do for young people. Nightlife is sparse outside the major cities, and the place can seem too quiet for some. If you want to catch live entertainment and enjoy the nightlife, Portland is the place to be.

No Professional Sports Teams

Maine is one of the smallest and least populated states in the US, so it’s no surprise that there are currently no major league sports teams playing in Maine. But residents generally support the New England teams that play in Massachusetts, such as Boston Bruins for hockey, Boston Celtics for basketball, and Boston Red Sox for baseball.

Brutal Winters

Maine is the third-coldest state in the U.S., where the average temperature is 41°F. Winters in Maine have an average low temperature of 12°F and abundant snowfall. The state accumulates an average of 50-110 inches of snowfall, depending on where you live in Maine. 

snow in maine

Caribou, the most northeastern city in the state and the U.S., recently encountered 157 consecutive days with at least one inch of snow on the ground.

Mostly Rural

Maine is the most rural state in the US. More than 61% of its population lives in rural areas—the highest rate in the country. It lacks many of the offerings of big city life, including a major airport within driving distance or a train station downtown. Flying anywhere means first taking an hour of driving to any of its three major airports.

Is Maine Expensive to Live in?

Yes, Maine is a little bit expensive to live in. A recent study from CreditKarma showed that Maine ranks 15th among the most expensive states in the US. This study analyzed all 50 states across different factors like everyday, monthly, and annual expenditures.

While homes and cars are fairly affordable compared to other states, the high costs of food, healthcare, and taxes can make it harder to get by in Maine. Though it’s still worth noting that the cost of living can be cheaper depending on the area you live in. It’s usually more expensive to live in coastal locations and the main cities of Maine.


The median home value in Maine rose from $268,500 last year to $325,000 in March of this year, an increase of 21%. Despite this, it’s still about $67,000 less than the national median. 

Your new home in Maine could be a spacious apartment in a revitalized mill, a restored Victorian house in a quiet town, or your dream home with a big yard for your children and pets to play in.

maine housing

As Maine’s housing market continues to rise, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine State Housing Authority offer many services for individuals looking to purchase homes. These include property tax and rent refunds for Maine residents, as well as a first-time homebuyer program to assist new homeowners in purchasing their homes.


The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Maine is $962 per month, about $200 less than the national average. However, apartment costs vary depending on where you live. If you’re willing to live in a less populous area like Piscataquis County, your rent payments could be as low as $767.


Maine is the 10th most expensive state for utilities due to its long, cold winters. Natural gas and electricity bills can eat into a household’s budget where they pay around $464.45 per month for gas, water, electricity, internet, and cable—almost $42 more than the US median.

Food and Grocery

Maine residents spend an average of $3,736 every year on groceries and beverages—more than the national average of $2,780. Only residents of Vermont and Alaska spend more on food and beverages per person, according to data compiled by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The high amount of money Mainers spend on groceries means that Mainers have less to spend on other goods and services. Per-capita spending on groceries alone in Maine is 9%, compared to 7.47% nationwide.


Maine is the state with the highest health care spending. This is likely because Maine residents have a median age of 44.8 years, the oldest median age of any state in the U.S. With a higher share of people who are in the 65 and older age group, more health care services are being used.


Maine has a high tax burden, ranking fourth after New York, Hawaii and Vermont. A recent report by financial website WalletHub ranked each state based on three types of taxes—individual income tax, property tax, and sales and excise taxes. The taxes were ranked as a percentage of total personal income in each state. In Maine, that portion was 10.5%.

The property tax burden in Maine is also above average. The state ranks No. 4 in a separate ranking of property tax burdens, with the typical Maine resident paying $2,597 in property taxes each year.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Maine? 

The amount you need to live comfortably in Maine depends on a lot of factors, but a single person with a full-time job in the state needs a yearly salary of about $37,184 to cover basic necessities in Maine. The median household income in Maine is $59,489, while the median individual income is $30,850.

For a family of four, they can expect their living expenses to total $81,251 per year. This figure assumes an average family of two adults (one working) and two children with a modest yet adequate standard of living.

What’s so Great About Maine?

As a state known for its rugged beauty and quiet rural living, Maine has plenty of great things about it. It’s one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S., with visitors flocking to its natural wonders, gorgeous coastlines, and historic sites. Here are just a few of the things that make Maine a great place to live:

Natural Beauty

Maine’s natural beauty is one of its biggest draws. From stunning coastline views to stunning mountain views, Maine has it all. 

maine nature

The Pine Tree State boasts more than 200 miles of coastline and over 1,000 islands — including the largest island in New England, Isle au Haut. If you want to hike mountains or enjoy a day at the beach, Maine is an ideal state for outdoor adventures.


Maine has some of the top public and private institutions in the country. With 31 different institutions and thousands of programs to choose from, there are endless possibilities for growth potential in Maine. The University of New England’s medical school and the University of Maine School of Law are just some of the many opportunities available within Maine.


Maine ranked 4th in the best states to start a business, based on a ranking released by WalletHub. The study considered 28 key indicators of startup success to determine the most fertile grounds on which to launch and grow an enterprise.

Maine ranked 11th in the business environment category, 18th for business costs, and 32nd for access to resources. Factors making up the business environment score include the average length of the work week, while access to resources takes into account small-business loans and higher-education assets.


Maine hospitals are some of the best in terms of hospital safety, based on the findings of the Leapfrog Group which monitors the quality of U.S. health care. The group evaluated 16 hospitals in Maine, and nine of them received an “A” grade. Maine also ranked third in the country for the highest percentage of facilities receiving the top grade.


Maine is home to many kinds of wildlife. Some of the most well-known animals in Maine include wild turkeys, Canadian lynxes, garter snakes, and mudpuppy salamanders. 

deer in maine

Wildlife also changes drastically depending on where you are in Maine’s diverse landscape. You won’t see any moose running in downtown Portland, but if you head outside of the city, there are plenty of white-tailed deer and brown bears to be found.

Where to Live in Maine?

Maine is filled with lovely neighborhoods, each with its own special personality and charm. You can choose to live in a rural location and commute to a job in a commercial center or settle down where you can walk or bicycle to work, and be closer to restaurants and local attractions. Here are some of the locals’ favorite towns and cities throughout Maine:


Portland, Maine, ranks among the top 10 U.S. cities to live in, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 ranking. The northeastern port city offers coastal scenery and a mix of city living and small-town charm.


Scarborough, Maine, is home to a large number of retirees and residents tend to be liberal. The public schools in this town are also highly rated. Residents enjoy a suburban feel with many living in single-family homes.

Cape Elizabeth

The area is well-known as a prime location for tourism and year-round living, with public beaches, an excellent school system, and easy access to Portland’s cultural attractions.


The schools in this town are some of the best in Maine, and its high school is consistently ranked among the very best public schools in the nation.


Freeport, Maine, is a shopper’s paradise. The New England town was voted the “Best Weekend of Shopping in New England” by Yankee Magazine Readers for the second year in a row.

Final Thoughts

Maine is one of the most geographically diverse and stunningly beautiful states in the nation. It’s definitely a state you should consider if you’re looking for a slower pace, quality of life, beaches, mountains, and an overall great place to live in the Northeast.


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